PORTSMOUTH—Scioto County area residents came to celebrate National Doughnut Day in style as The Donut Distillery opened its doors to the public for the first time.
Mike Scott, co-owner of the Donut Distillery, was pleased to see plenty of hungry patrons in line for fresh donuts that morning. Taking a quick break from the fryer, he explained that his road to the Donut Distillery didn’t come without a bump or two along the way.
Scott and co-owner Nate Hinze set the vision for the Donut Distillery into motion when their former business was lost due to the pandemic. Hinze’s family owns a Donut Distillery in Nashville, but the pair was hesitant at first to bring a combination of donuts and alcohol to a Portsmouth-local business.
Enjoying the Nashville restaurant firsthand, however, inspired them to go for it.
“We went down there and experienced it, and it was awesome. We thought ‘man, let’s try it.’ And 10 months later, here we are,” Scott said.
Scott and Hinze’s inspiration soon became a soft opening. And members of the community showed Scott and the Donut Distillery a warm welcome by turning out in droves to sample the tasty treats.
Heather Cantrell, academic advisor with Shawnee State University, knew that she needed to share some of the fresh donuts with her colleagues when she heard of the opening.
“I saw the event on Facebook and I thought, ‘it’s Friday, it’s National Donut Day, and our office deserves a treat,’ so I’m picking up donuts for everyone in the Success Center,” Cantrell said.
Much to the delight of Scott and the Donut Distillery, several others had the same idea on the morning of the opening. The donuts, which are made fresh to order, quickly flew off the shelves.
Cantrell was one of the many people in attendance who was eager to have a new place in town to visit, especially as COVID restrictions loosen.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to have another place for people to come and gather, especially coming out of the pandemic; just being able to have a place to see people face to face and communicate, and it’s a really great space. It seems very cheerful and friendly,” she said.
The interior of Donut Distillery is brightly colored and welcoming, hosting an array of eclectic decorations and neon wall art. String lights, comfortable seating, and a stage for eventual music and comedy shows all add to the atmosphere.
Although the Donut Distillery eventually promises to offer alcoholic beverages as a part of their regular fare, Scott explained that those wishing to enjoy an adult beverage with their donut may have to wait just a short while longer.
“The hardest thing [about opening] has been getting the liquor license. We just got approved the other day, and we are supposed to have it by June 6th,” Scott explained.
For now, guests of the Donut Distillery can enjoy plenty of donut selections, with several specialty flavors being offered. Scott says that eventually, they will have a specialty Donut of the Month to offer guests as well.
Strawberry Cheesecake, which Scott says is a specialty flavor in the works, is sure to be especially popular. Currently, some of the specialty donuts offered include Rocky Road, Dreamsicle, Whiskey Glaze and Death by Chocolate. A dozen specialty flavors are offered in total.
Those with a more adventurous sweet tooth can also enjoy a donut milkshake, which features specialty donuts of your choosing blended into a milkshake and topped with a signature mini gourmet donut. Once alcohol is available, customers will also have the option to add a shot to their shake.
For now, Scott is eager to see how the community enjoys the fruits of his labor in addition to their donuts.
“I’m pretty excited. It’s new to both of us. When we started this we thought, ‘we are two guys from Southern Ohio, are we going to be ready for this?’ But we are excited. Everything’s going good so far,” he said.
Follow the Donut Distillery’s Portsmouth location on Facebook or visit them at 416 Chillicothe Street in Portsmouth. Though weekend hours may expand in the future, the Donut Distillery is currently open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Reach Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931 or by email at [email protected]
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